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Night Dive – Reef Life of the Andaman – Part 26

Night Dive – Reef Life of the Andaman – Part 26

Description

Night diving offers a different type of experience to the scuba diver, as a different array of marine critters venture out while others rest.

Cephalopods can be successful hunters by night. In Burma’s Mergui Archipelago we see a bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) feasting on an Indo-Pacific sergeant (Abudefduf vaigiensis) and a pharao cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) feeding on a spinefoot.

Pretty moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) drift over Thailand’s Boonsung wreck. A great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) passes by the camera at Koh Doc Mai near Phuket. An orange cup coral’s pretty polyps are extended. Amongst a group of red lionfish on the Boonsung wreck, a goldband fusilier (Pterocaesio chrysozona), displaying its night coloration, is pounced on and swallowed whole by a a honeycomb moray (Gymnothorax favagineus).

Many reef fishes use the night time to sleep. We see a blackspotted puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus) and a spotted sharpnose (Canthigaster solandri) resting on the reef at Koh Tachai, north of the Similan Islands.

At night, parrotfish surround themselves in a scent-proof cocoon of secreted mucous to avoid detection by sharks. We see ember parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus) and blue-barred parrotfish (Scarus ghobban) using this technique.

It’s very difficult for scuba divers to observe fishes at night without disturbing them. We encounter a scrawled filefish (Aluterus scriptus), moorish idol (Zanclus cornutus), humpback turretfish (Tetrosomus gibbosus), emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator), snake moray (Uropterygius sp.), blue triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) and ornate ghost pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus) all apparently disorientated or upset by the bright lights.

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